This literary analysis (MA Thesis, Texas State Univ-San Marcos) examines points of contact between the free culture movement and two novels by Douglas Coupland, "Microserfs" and "The Gum Thief." The analysis argues that Coupland's use of anarchistic community and literary gift-giving are analogous to concepts described by free culture advocates such as Lawrence Lessig, Siva Vaidhyanathan, Lewis Hyde, and Jonathan Lethem. Lethem's concept of "the ecstasy of influence" provides an intriguing explanation for various aspects of Coupland's novels, showing that critics and artists should now consider a literary work's cooperation with and admiration of its predecessors as often as its antagonism toward its predecessors.
Date of last update: 8 Feb. 2010. This file contains the original text as submitted to the Graduate College at Texas State University, San Marcos. The Creative Commons license and errata are appended as the last pages.